Loving the BITE: Easy to Digest, Long Lasting Fuel for Cycling


Peanut Butter and ChiaWhen riding early in the morning, do you opt for pre-training fuel and risk stomach issues, or just go without?  Many athletes simply head out the door with no fuel.  And, for up to 60 minutes of training, this is usually just fine.  In fact, they not only reduce the risk of stomach cramps, but also of eating a fast-acting carb and then experiencing an “energy low” about 45 minutes later.  But, what about those early morning sessions that last 60-120 minutes, or that are high intensity?  Refined carbs may cause a crash and long-lasting carbs don’t have enough time to digest.  The no fuel option can leave you with a no energy experience.

Here’s my solution: the easy-to-digest long-lasting PB-Chia-Pudding-Delight.

Recipe of the Week:  Peanut Butter Chia Pudding Delight


  • 2 Tbsp PB 2 or 1 Tbsp peanut butter*
  • 2 Tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 tsp organic coconut oil, melted (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp organic honey
  • 2-3 Tbsp water (use as needed for desired consistency, more needed is PB2 used)


Mix well and eat 30-60 minutes before training.  Can be eaten immediately, mixed the evening before training and refrigerated, or mixed and left in the fridge up to 3 days.

Nutrition Info: Approximately 250 calories, 20 grams carbs, 8 grams fiber, 5-10 gm protein


Not long ago, I would have never recommended 8 grams of fiber within one hour of beginning training.  N-E-V-E-R.  Too risky.  This was until I begin using Chia seeds and organic honey with clients and with my own training.  Somehow, some way, these high fat, high fiber seeds are easy on the stomach.  Somehow, some way, they provide long-lasting, even keeled energy, even in small amounts.  As a traditional energy food, many endurance athletes have been running and riding on them for years.  What I’ve found is that I can go hard for 2 hours without any reaching for more fuel.  This recipe packs a lot into a small snack.  Here’s what else you’ll get with the PB-Chia-Delight:

  • Peanut butter or PB2 for long-lasting energy and protein.  Personally, I do have a bit of an issue with eating peanut butter too close to training, but PB2 (peanut flour) causes no problems.
  • Organic coconut oil for a quick-acting fats that provide an energy source and nutrients used directly by the mitochondria of cells (energy powerhouses of cells).
  • Chia seeds slow the digestion of the entire mixture, but with such a small volume don’t seem to “set” in the stomach or delay energy production.  They provide vegetarian sources of omega-3s, antioxidants, minerals, and protein.
  • Organic honey for moderately quickly metabolized carbs that provide lasting energy similar to maltodextrin.  And, as long as it’s organic or raw, honey will provide enzymes that aid in digestion and antioxidants that promote cellular health.

Peanut Butter Chia Honey BallBonus Recipe: PB Chia Honey Balls

To take this fuel recipe on the bike, simply make the mixture ahead of time and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.  Scoop out solidified mix and form into balls.  Place in a baggie and enjoy during your ride.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy training fuel recipe, you’ve got it.  You can mix this up in one minute or less.  Eat it beforehand, or take it with you, and keep the pedals turning.

Fuel your Ride.  Nourish your Body.

Enjoy Your Ride

Tags: ,

Pin It

5 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: Easy to Digest, Long Lasting Fuel for Cycling ”

  1. Susan J on September 5, 2020 at 9:08 am

    Just researching recipes for feeling long rides and came across this one. What does the * beside peanut butter indicate?
    Thank you!

  2. Bob Thyer on February 12, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    How much and how often would you eat these say on a 100 mile ride. I realize this may be a personal thing, I am in training for my first 100 miler in May 2015. My intake plan is take a protein and Electrolytes drink as I ride and pick up the food bars about every 15 miles. Do you think this is a good strategy?

    • Kelli Jennings on February 12, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Bob,
      Yes, it definitely depends on what other fuels you’re using during your ride. It’s about consistent, proactive fuel hour after hour. I recommend 75-90 grams carbs per hour on any ride >5 hours…beginning during the first hour (you’re always fueling for what’s ahead). Usually, this is best accomplished with easy to digest carbs foods/drinks each hour (many listed on the recipes on this site like this recipe, salted dates, mango strips, salted honey, etc) and a more elaborate whole food every 2-3 hours. It depends on the athlete whether these are part of the hourly food or 2-3 hour whole food. Personally, I would use drinks, honey or gels, and things like mango every hour and these every 3 hours. I think you need more carbs than you’re planning on with your above plan. Aim for the 75-90 grams carbs per hour…your body can use it. I hope this helps!

  3. Michael Moriarity on January 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    This is a great recipe. Thanks, Kelli. I have a suggestion that might be worth experimenting with. Add either a mashed up banana or some dates to each ball (possibly contained in the center?). The energy contained within these very digestible items is crucial on the bike.

    • Kelli Jennings on February 12, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks Michael! I’m all for variety on the bike and consider these just one of many fueling options one would use in a longer ride. I recommend 60+ gm carbs per hour on rides up to 5 hours, and 75+ on longer rides, so other fuels are absolutely necessary. Salted dates, banana bars, etc are all good foods (although I’m not too much of a fan of carrying a whole banana with me on the bike) and there are recipes for these as well as many others on the site. If you try adding dates to this recipe, let us know…I’d love to heat how it turns out.


    July 2024
    M T W T F S S


Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

Nutrition Tips